Why would asexuals want or need to 'come out' anyway?
For some asexuals it really is the case that their asexuality is a
complete non-issue, they never have any reason to mention sex and feel
perfectly comfortable interacting with others.
Other asexuals find themselves in situations where they are expected to
be sexual. They might feel pressured to fake sexual attractions in order
to fit in and have an easy life. Many people find that those around them
constantly bring up sexual attraction in conversations, be it sex talk
in the office or "look at the legs on her". It might be easier to
along and pretend you have sexual thoughts and feelings, but in doing so
you are effectively 'in the closet', whether to avoid shame or simply to
make life easier for yourself.
Some asexuals have found it refreshing to come out as having no sexual
attractions. They no longer have to fade into the background when sex
comes into the conversation or fake sexual interest in order to fit in.
They can be completely honest about who they are and what they feel.
Another reason to consider coming out is to increase visibility and
acceptance of asexuals in our society. While you may feel perfectly
comfortable with who you are, other asexuals feel broken or less than
human. As more and more asexuals are visible in our society, the idea of
asexuality as a valid part of human experience will become more
widespread. Just one more openly asexual person increases the likelihood
that other asexuals won't have to grow up thinking they're broken or
Coming out is, of course, your own personal choice and no one will think
less of you if you decide that it's not for you.
Do we even need an asexual community?
You might decide that an asexual community has no value to you, but
other asexuals receive a great deal from sharing their experiences with
There are many different things you could take from an asexual
community. Some members wish to talk to others with similar experiences,
some wish to explore the diversity of experience within the community.
Some want to talk about finding romance, some enjoy discussing the vast
possibilities for asexual relationships. Some people would like to learn
how to be more comfortable with their asexuality, others are eager to
celebrate what they are. Some want to make things better for future
asexuals, some want to spread the word that asexuality exists and it's
OK to be that way. Some asexuals want to discuss the theory of
asexuality and sexuality, some just want to tell jokes or share poems
The asexual community might be for you, or it might not. If you think
you might benefit from hearing the experiences of people with little or
no sexual attraction to other people, then you should give it a try.
Doubts and fears
I really want to have sex with people I love but when I do I feel nothing
and it's horrible, what's wrong with me?
If you don't enjoy sex or find it deeply dissapointing this might be
because you don't actually want sex, you want your idea of what sex
is. If you've come to this site you probably suspect or know that you're
asexual so it's unlikely that a sex drive is motivating you.
Think carefully, what does sex mean to you? What do you expect to get
from sex? Do you think you're looking for extreme pleasure? Perhaps you
want some amazing shared expression of your love. Maybe you want to make
your partner happy and think that you should be satisfied with their
pleasure. Could it be that you want to be as intimate and close as is
possible to them?
Once you know what you're actually looking for from sex you can look for
other ways to achieve it. The important thing is to talk to your
partner, figure out what you want, tell them what you're feeling and
discuss each others needs.
Does being asexual mean I'll always be lonely?
No not at all, asexuals can and do form many kinds of relationships,
from close friendships to romantic couplings to other kinds of bonds
which our society doesn't have words for.
It may be more difficult to find someone who is willing to enter into a
conventional relationship with the knowledge that sex will not be
involved, but remember, there are other people with low or no sex drive
out there and many people who care more about love and companionship
than they do about sex.
Don't give up hope!
What if it's a phase?
What if it is? That doesn't stop you being asexual right now.
It may be tempting to hold back on accepting your asexuality in the hope
that eventually you'll 'bloom' into a sexual person. I'm not saying that
might not eventually happen, but consider this: do you want to spend
your life thinking of yourself as an undeveloped person, living for the
dreamed of day when you'll become whole? Might you feel more comfortable
accepting who you are now as a whole complete valid person? Maybe one
day you will bloom, if and when you do you won't have lost anything by
being comfortable in the mean time.
There's no shame in identifying as one thing and then later identifying
as another. Your identity isn't meant to limit you, if you've moved on
or changed then by all means describe yourself differently. If you fear
you might be different in the future, that doesn't change which label is
most useful to you in the present. There's nothing wrong with change.
I can't identify as asexual, what if I find the right person and start
being sexual with them?
If you have yet to meet a single person who has aroused you sexually
it's pretty safe to say that you have low or no sexual attraction to
others. You aren't losing anything by exploring your asexuality and
talking to others with similar experiences. If one day you find that
special someone, that would be wonderful!
Identifying as asexual isn't committing yourself to abstinance, it's
recognising how you work. You can have relationships and you can be
sexual if you so choose. Good luck finding 'the one'!
Something must be terribly wrong with me, I'm broken. I think I can trace
my asexuality to something that happened when I was a child, do you
think that's why I'm this way?
In a world where heterosexuality is promoted as normality and the only
alternatives are also sexual, it's easy to see how you might consider
yourself abnormal or broken. Asexuality isn't bad, it's just different.
When you think of yourself as broken, it's natural that you would need
to find a cause for your disfunction. When homosexuality was still
considered a psychiatric disorder everyone, including gay people
themselves, had theories for what could have 'gone wrong' to make them
that way. Gay people 'must have' had a terrible upbringing or a bad
experience with someone of the other sex. These days people consider
homosexuality to be just another way for human beings to be and as such
it's very rare to hear of a gay person who has a reason for being the
way they are.
Asexuality is just another natural way for human beings to be. You're
not broken. I'm sure that your 'cause' experience was very important to
you, but do you think that anyone who had the same experience would turn
out the same way?
I'm worried that I'm sexually repressed or just using this to distance
myself from or hide from the real world, how can I be sure I'm really
Only you can know if you're asexual or not. Do you experience sexual
attraction toward other people? Are you making choices to not act upon
urges or do you lack them entirely? If you are genuinely unsure of the
answers then the asexual community may be a good place to explore how
There are people who consciously or otherwise
avoid sexuality because they wish to avoid things like intimacy. These
are, of course, welcome in the asexual community though they generally find
that whatever emotional issue they were trying to avoid is present here as
well, and cannot be effectively avoided by avoiding sexuality. Asexual
deal with all of the same complex challenges in relationships as
I don't like being asexual, I want to be normal like everyone else, what
can I do?
I'm afraid that there's no evidence to show that it's possible to change
someone's sexuality. You can choose to change the way you act upon your
desires or lack of desires, but you can't change what your desires are.
It is possible for someone's sexuality to drift and change in
orientation and intensity with time but this doesn't happen
intentionally and doesn't happen to everyone.
The best solution is to learn to be comfortable with who and what you
are. You can't change your sexuality and you didn't choose it, but you
can accept it.
I just don't see how asexuals can be close to anyone, how can you have a
relationship without sex?
There are myriad ways for asexuals to form close bonds and relationships
with others. Some asexuals keep close friendships, some enjoy
'traditional' (but not sexual) romantic couplings. Others form
completely different, perhaps unique, relationships.
Asexuals can be 'more than friends' or even consider their relationships
'closer than lovers'. Asexuals can be part of traditional couplings, be
a non-sexual loving partner of a polyamorous (loving many) person or
perhaps part of a group marriage or some other non-conventional
Asexual relationships are a 'blank slate', there are no rules dictating
how non-sexual love is expressed. Many asexuals consider their
relationships to be outside the experience of our culture, there are no
words to describe the bonds they make with other people.
The possibilities for non-sexual intimacy are vast. Some asexuals enjoy
physical closeness, perhaps cuddling or stroking, with their partner.
Some asexuals express intimacy through talking, maybe sharing their
innermost fears and secrets or by making each other laugh. Some asexuals
feel intimacy with their partners by sharing common interests and
activities or by working together toward common goals. Others experience
intimacy in other deeply personal ways or by a combination of some, all
or none of the above.
I want to start going out with someone but I'm almost certain they're
sexual, what should I do?
First and foremost be honest with them about how you feel and what
you're capable of sharing as part of the relationship. It's important to
talk about how both of you feel about each other, the relationship and
the possibility of sex.
Many people have low or no interest in sex, don't assume that everyone
else is sexual even if it sometimes feels that way. Some sexual people
will be willing to commit to a non-sexual person if they feel really
strongly about them, it's worth taking the chance.
I could never tell people about this, they'd think I was a freak or laugh
In a world where sexuality is promoted as the norm, many asexuals grow
up thinking that they're somehow sick, broken or deficient. It's
natural to internalise these fears and believe that other people will
think your asexuality is as big a deal as you always have. In fact it's
really not so terrible.
Most people are pretty accepting of asexuality once they understand it.
You may find that coming out often needs to be followed by an
explanation of what asexuality is and isn't, be patient with people.
It's likely that you initially had some trouble accepting your own
asexuality and understanding what it meant, it's not surprising that
other people have the same problem when they first hear of its existence.
I still have a question that you haven't covered here, will you answer it?
Certainly. Feel free to ask your question on the forum or send it by
email to me email@example.com or the AVEN webmaster
I'm really interested in exploring my asexuality, where can I go?
If you haven't read the rest of this website, that might be a good place
to start. The links section gives a list of sites by other asexuals.
If you'd like to talk to other asexual people or contribute to the
community, there are a number of forums available. I recommend the AVEN
message board, The Haven for the Human Amoeba email list and the
LiveJournal Asexuality community.
Do you have anything else to add?
Above all, remember that the only person who can know what's right for
you is you. By all means listen to what I and others have to say, but in
the end the best thing you can do is think for yourself.
Labels and categories do not define you, they describe you. They're a
shorthand for expressing the complexity of your identity to others and a
springboard from which you can explore and understand yourself. If a
label isn't working for you then you don't have to use it. If a group is
telling you there's only one true way to be your kind of person, you
don't have to listen to them!
There are many reasons to embrace an asexual identity or contribute to
the asexual community, but if you find it's not right for you or that
it's limiting you, don't be scared to speak up and say how you feel and
don't feel that you can't walk away.
You don't have to identify as asexual to find the experiences of
asexuals useful to you. If you have issues with low or no sexual
attraction to others but do not identify as asexual, please still feel
welcome to contribute your experience to our community.